Ebony Barber Shop

Proving it's in an open relationship with Evanston.

While waiting for my son to finish his bass guitar lesson at Boocoo tonight, I noticed a huge crowd inside Ebony Barber Shop, 1702 Dodge Avenue.  Everyone appeared to be laughing and having a great time. 

I’ve passed that corner of Church & Dodge in my car many a time, never looking in the windows of the barbershop. I’ll also admit, with much shame, that many times I’ve come to a red light at that intersection and wondered how safe it was.  Recent news of , other shootings, still more shootings have left me paranoid about safety on that corner of my town. 

And yet, as I witnessed laughter and relaxation inside Ebony Barber Shop, I wanted to go in and be a part of it.

I walked into the shop, nervous that the familiar crowd might wonder why I was there.  Instead, Gigi welcomed me with a smile and encouraged others to do the same.  I joked with barbers and customers and immediately felt at home.  Gigi was thrilled to hear someone might mention the business with some free advertising, then handed me a card from her daughter’s business, Ikandi Hair Studio, 1705 Central Street, hoping I’d mention it as well. 

I saw people who, just like me, hate the violence in the neighborhood.  I saw fellow Evanstonians who choose to look past the reputation of a neighborhood tainted by hardship.  Inside the shop I found laughter, jokes, and some serious barber techniques.  One man, Joey, leaned back in his tilted barber chair while a hot, steamy cloth was wrapped around his face.  Another customer, Jose, sat modestly while friends gathered around to admire his new haircut.  Several men sat in chairs against a wall, lobbing friendly jabs at one another.  Buzzers buzzed, brooms swept, and the vibe was decidedly upbeat.

The Ebony Barber Shop Facebook page lists itself in this manner:

Ebony Barberhop is the premier barbershop in Evanston, IL. The barbers are professional and the environment is child friendly. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Visit us today: 1702 Dodge Ave.

Open: Tuesday - Saturday
9:00 am- Close

The Facebook Relationship Status for Ebony Barber Shop says:  In an Open Relationship.  After walking in tonight, I couldn’t agree more.

LINDA February 18, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Christine Wolf February 19, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Dear TCrooks, Thank you for reading and for your reply. I've been in town for 14 years now. And there are many, many places in Evanston I haven't yet visited. I haven't gone to the Evanston History Center, or the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. I've never been to a performance at ETHS, or a bonfire at Lighthouse Beach. I've never been to a gospel at any one of Evanston's numerous churches, nor have I seen a sunrise in this fine town. You're absolutely right. I should get around more, and by writing this piece, I hope to let readers know that I'm glad I stopped in and met everyone at Ebony Barber Shop. I hope to live here my whole life, and I hope never run out of new places to visit and new friends to make. This is a start.
Jill Dinoffria Garrett February 19, 2011 at 04:34 AM
As usual, another interesting article wonderfully written. Thanks!
Robert Mc Neil February 20, 2011 at 10:04 PM
At Ebony Barbershop, Gigi, is a Dr. of Divinity and Metaphyics, we have and still do practice religious science and from using the Science of the Mind Principles, Dr. Brigitte Giles (Gigi) has a special touch and healing hands and vibrations. In 2007, Dr. Giles and i began working with a Master Mind group, and i witnessed her stand up and state her intentions of acquiring Ebony barbershop and working with Northwestern and growing the business, as it is evident that she has ! What you concieve you can achieve, this requires your balance of Chore Values and Standards of Integrity. Dr. Robert Mc Neil Dr. Giles continues to study principles that deal with raising vibration levels to guide individuals to a consciousness of self awareness. Gigi is also my barber, and my friend, and Im glad Everyone is getting to know her.
Lonnie wilson March 01, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Ebony Barbershop has been an institution of Black and minority life on the west side for years. I am 54 years old and Marshall Who is GiGis father cut my hair as a child!! the barbershop is the meeting place of minority men! I love what I learned in a few deep conversations at That Barbershop!!


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